The dawn of a new year means fresh starts and new beginnings. From relationships to business, January to a time to step away from past mistakes, forgive failings and start anew. Let these quotes inspire you to look at things from a different perspective and to embrace the year and the changes you can create within it.

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“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato

Every fresh start and new beginning revolves around setting a goal and envisioning the future. After that, everything else is just following the plan. At the start of this year, take the time to do the important work of imagining where you want to be and finding the route to get there.

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“We come to beginnings only at the end” – William Throsby Bridges

To truly take advantage of a fresh start we must first let go of the old because we cannot embrace the future without letting go of the past. Just as you toss out the old calendar with it’s scribbles and out-of-date lists in favor of a clean, blank one, give up the worry, fear, hurts and failings of the past to make room for progress and new experiences.

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You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. – Mary Pickford

While January seems a natural time for a fresh start, but only because flipping the calendar page reminds us. In truth, the power to create change, start a project, try something new or forgive past wrongs is with us every day as long as we decide it is time. This means that if the new year’s fresh start does not go as you hoped, you can try set new goals and try again in February, July or November.

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with on step.” – Lao Tzu

New beginnings and fresh starts can feel scary, especially when the goal seems enormous and obstacles threaten to hold you back. But, you don’t have to achieve everything thing at once.  If the big picture seems overwhelming, just focus on the first small step.  Once you start, it becomes easier to keep going.

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“The way to get started is to quit talking about it and begin doing” – Walt Disney

No matter how much you desire change or a fresh start, hoping, planning and making resolutions cannot make it happen. To make the most of this year’s fresh start, it’s time to take the next step from desire to doing.